Airbus said to deliver over 700 jets in 2017

Airbus stuck to an official 2017 target of more than 700 aircraft deliveries. (Reuters)
Updated 02 January 2018
0

Airbus said to deliver over 700 jets in 2017

LONDON: European planemaker Airbus delivered over 700 aircraft in 2017, breaking company records and meeting its core industrial target for the year, industry sources said.
Exact figures have been kept under wraps ahead of an announcement on Jan. 15, but the sources said Airbus handed over a record monthly total of jets in December, surpassing the previous monthly peak of 111 seen in the closing weeks of 2016.
Coming on top of 591 deliveries posted between January and November last year, that implies deliveries of at least 703 aircraft in 2017 as a whole, up at least 2 percent from 2016.
A spokesman for Airbus declined comment.
Airbus stuck throughout 2017 to an official target of more than 700 deliveries for the year, but abandoned a more ambitious informal goal of more than 720 deliveries in October due to continued delays in engine deliveries for the A320neo family.
Airbus officials have said the delays have now eased, following a two-year wrangle with supplier Pratt & Whitney over late engines for the company’s fastest-selling jet.
It is the second year in a row that Airbus has been forced to accelerate sharply in December, with that month’s deliveries accounting for at least 16 percent of the annual total.
Without disclosing numbers, Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier thanked staff in a memo for “huge collective efforts” that had seen the company break records for deliveries logged both in one month and in one year, industry sources said.
Still, insiders said the strong industrial performance would be seen by many as a personal coup for Bregier, weeks before he is due to leave the company after losing a bid to succeed Chief Executive Tom Enders, who is himself leaving in 2019.
Airbus is bracing for more internal changes this year as it emerges from a top-level power struggle and rows over the handling of corruption investigations, but ended 2017 with what appears to be a grand slam performance from its current regime.
Besides ending the year on record output, Airbus is also heading for a record December in new business after soon-to-retire sales chief John Leahy announced the firming up of more than 700 orders, equivalent to a year’s production.
Both Leahy and Bregier are leaving Airbus in coming weeks, handing their responsibilities to executives from outside the planemaking inner circle: Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury, who will replace Bregier as head of the planemaking division, and Rolls-Royce civil engines head Eric Schulz, who will replace Leahy after he retires later this month.
Airbus will remain in second place on deliveries in 2017 behind the world’s largest planemaker, Boeing, but analysts say the outcome of the order race depends on how many of the new sales make it into the end-year tally of net orders.


Oil prices inch up as US crude stocks drop, Iran sanctions weigh

Updated 2 min 15 sec ago
0

Oil prices inch up as US crude stocks drop, Iran sanctions weigh

  • US crude inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week to August 17 to 405.6 million barrels
  • ‘The Iran issue continues to occupy traders’ minds’

SEOUL: Oil markets rose on Wednesday on a drop in US crude inventories and a weaker dollar, while concerns about a potential shortfall in Iranian supply from November due to US sanctions also buoyed prices.
Brent crude oil futures were at $72.90 per barrel at 0653 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.37 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 27 cents, or 0.41 percent, at $66.11 per barrel.
US crude inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 17 to 405.6 million barrels, ahead of analyst forecasts for a fall of 1.5 million barrels, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute.
Official data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.
“Investors are also confident that (official) inventories in the United States will decrease this week,” ANZ Bank said in a note.
Signs of slowing US crude output growth and a weaker US dollar also provided some support to oil prices, said Kim Kwang-rae, commodity analyst at Samsung Futures in Seoul.
The US dollar index against a basket of six major currencies eased on Wednesday to 95.211 after losing 0.7 percent the previous day, weighed down by US President Trump’s comments on monetary policy.
A weaker US dollar makes oil, which is priced in dollars, less expensive for buyers in other currencies.
The EIA cut its 2018 US crude production growth forecast on Aug. 7 to 10.68 million barrels per day (bpd) from 10.79 million bpd amid lower crude prices.
Concerns also remain over how much oil will be removed from global markets by renewed sanctions on Iran, despite worries that demand-growth could weaken amid a trade dispute between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies.
“The Iran issue continues to occupy traders’ minds,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.
Iran, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC’s third-largest oil producer, said earlier this week no other OPEC member should be allowed to take over its share of oil exports.
Meanwhile, a Chinese trade delegation is in Washington to discuss the trade dispute with the US side. But signs of a thaw were unlikely as US President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Monday that he did not expect much progress.